Read this piece from Brent Bozell on the AIDS myth and the press' continual misrepresentation of the Reagan record.
A Los Angeles Times story suggested "many gay men like playwright Jon Bastian still feel Reagan 'did nothing, basically' about the AIDS epidemic that exploded during his eight years as president." Reporters like CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta also lied: "The first time President Reagan would utter the word AIDS in public would be well into his second term, six years after the virus was discovered."
Some AIDS activists in the 1980s never had anything but vicious blame for Reagan. Some still do. The Advocate magazine is touting its forthcoming essay by extremist playwright Larry Kramer titled "Adolf Reagan." It begins: "Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world, is dead. More people than Hitler even."
The real Reagan record on AIDS is different. AIDS funding skyrocketed in the 1980s, almost doubling each year from 1983 -- when the media started blaring headlines -- from $44 million to $103 million, $205 million, $508 million, $922 million, and then $1.6 billion in 1988. Reagan's secretary of Health and Human Services in 1983, Margaret Heckler, declared AIDS her department's "number one priority." While the House of Representatives was Democrat-dominated throughout the 1980s, which Democrats would quickly explain was the source of that skyrocketing AIDS funding, Reagan clearly signed the spending bills that funded the war on AIDS.
While he's at it, Bozell also destroys the fiction from Jesse Jackson that Reagan's 1980 speech in Mississippi was racist:
on the day after the supposedly racist-encouraging Mississippi speech, Reagan traveled to New York for a speech to the Urban League, where the Washington Post reported on August 5, 1980, that Reagan declared, "I am committed to the protection of the civil rights of black Americans. That commitment is interwoven into every phase of the programs I will propose." Adviser Martin Anderson explained Reagan would uphold ongoing "affirmative action" programs. Do those sound like code words for Southern racists? That might explain why the story didn't become much of a left-wing legend back in the 1980s.